As a vendor or solution provider, you don’t have to have a large analyst relations department to get the best out of the analyst community. If you understand what motivates the analyst, you’re in a better position to make it work for you.

Here are six key insights into the minds of the Celent analysts:

1. Analysts like to know what there is to know: The main job is about maximizing that left-hand quadrant of the Johari window. See us as the trawlers of many haystacks looking for several needles. Almost all of our activities are focused around uncovering and understanding our specific areas.

2. Analysts can be terrier-like in their focus: Most analysts have areas of specialization—be it policy administration, or application of Web services in insurance. Much of their research—and even consulting work—is focused on extending and deepening this knowledge. If your proposition falls outside of this area, its best to ask who the appropriate analyst would be for a briefing. Foist briefings upon analysts at your peril.

3. Turn up at the party if you get an invitation: This point is related to the one above. If in the search for more information about a certain topic the analyst stumbles across your company, take this as an opportunity to position and market your company. If the timing doesn’t suit you (closing a deal? Submitting that RFI?), then discuss a more appropriate timing.

4. Make sure you dance at the party: Leading on from the party invitation, know that an interest from the analyst firm is your opportunity to show your product and your company. Take this as an almost-free (ok, so it takes up some of your time) chance to market yourselves. It may be that the analyst is profiling companies, or perhaps looking for non-report based information. Either way, another influencer in the market who understands your company and your vision is another channel to market.

5. There’s public and private information and the analyst will understand the difference: Sometimes, your story is better told by sharing information that is confidential or not for public consumption. Make clear to the analyst what is off the record. The analyst’s reputation is dependent on keeping certain things confidential. Clearly, this level of openness will develop over time, but feel free to share with a degree of comfort.

6. It’s a two-way street: You may have noticed but analysts like to talk. So once you’ve shared your story, feel free to ask some questions. They may have some unique insights into the industry or may know of interesting opportunities in the market. Whatever it is you are interested in, the analyst is likely to be happy to share.

This blog has been reprinted with permission from Celent. Catherine Stagg-Macey is a senior analyst for Celent's insurance group, and can be reached at

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